Wisconsin Rent Increase Laws

Wisconsin Rent Increase Laws

Last Updated: January 20, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Reason Needed No
Max / Limit No Statute
Notice Requirement No Statute

Does Wisconsin Have Rent Control?

No, Wisconsin does not have rent control laws limiting the amount that landlords may ask for rent and state law prohibits local governments from establishing their own rent control laws.

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent By in Wisconsin?

Landlords in Wisconsin can raise the rent by any amount that they wish. There is no legal limit or cap on the amount of a rent increase.

When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, landlords can raise the rent for any reason as long as they give proper notice, don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease (unless the lease allows for it), and aren’t doing so for certain discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, landlords cannot raise the rent during the middle of a lease’s fixed term (unless stated otherwise in the lease agreement), for certain discriminatory reasons (like race or age), or for certain retaliatory reasons (such as in response to a tenant requesting repairs).

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination due to:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender (including gender identity)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Nationality or origin
  • Familial status
  • Disability

In addition to the characteristics above, state and local governments can enact additional protections against discrimination. For example, Madison’s Equal Opportunities Ordinance also prohibits discrimination due to:

  • Source of income
  • Citizenship status
  • Military discharge
  • Physical appearance
  • Political beliefs
  • Student status
  • Domestic partner status
  • History of homelessness or unemployment
  • Status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking

Wisconsin law also prevents landlords from increasing rent in retaliation. An action by a landlord is considered retaliatory if it occurs after something a tenant does. The law does not specify what time period between the tenant action and rent increase qualifies as retaliation, so landlords should act in good faith when increasing rent.

Rent increases are considered retaliatory if they are in response to a tenant:

  • Filing a complaint with the landlord or appropriate agency regarding the health or safety of the property
  • Exercising a right granted by law

In Madison, an action by a landlord is considered retaliatory if it occurs within 6 months after something a tenant does.

How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin law does not require a specific notice period before raising the rent. However, 28 days’ notice is typically used as reasonable notice of a rent increase.

How Often Can Rent Be Increased in Wisconsin?

Landlords in Wisconsin can increase the rent as often as they wish, as long as reasonable notice is provided each time.